This is a new little project – writing things to my daughters to have them read so we can discuss it. I thought I would share a few of them.
Have you ever been walking along the sidewalk and for some reason – you almost don’t know how you did it – you almost wipe out? Maybe you don’t fall down all the way, but you can end up staggering around or looking crazy for a minute. Everyone has done this at some time or another, and people have many different ways of handling it when it happens to them.
Sometimes when you do something wrong, the only thing that you can think about is trying to cover it up. Sin can be embarrassing – just like kicking the sidewalk crack and falling flat on your face.
It is embarrassing when you know that something is wrong, and you know that you shouldn’t do it, and then for some reason you do it anyway. It is embarrassing that someone doing some little tiny annoying thing caused you to lose control of yourself.
This is the kind of time when you might decide to lie. Or maybe you just lie without meaning to because you got so embarrassed all of the sudden and didn’t know what else to do. Because maybe your parents weren’t there and didn’t see what happened. Maybe all of the sudden they ask you about it, and you just don’t want to tell them that you can’t be trusted to walk down the sidewalk of your life without wiping out.
Or you want to tell a much bigger story – so that the fact that you almost fell is lost in the details of how wild the sidewalk was being and how much the sun was in your eyes and how three squirrels were throwing pinecones at you, so that you really could not help kicking the crack (if you even did that, which you really doubt, and which you can’t believe your parents are even asking about given the amazing circumstances).
But trust me. Your parents know exactly what that is like. Every person in the world sometimes sins in stupid and petty ways. We all know what it feels like to have to confess something that you really wish you had never done. We all know the embarrassment of lying on the sidewalk and wondering how you got there.
The way that you want to handle this is by taking responsibility. Quickly, thoroughly, and realistically. Don’t start any sentences (even in your head) with “But she……” or “He was just being so annoying….”
Concentrate on saying what you did wrong and stopping there. Simple sentences like, “I lost my temper” or “I was being selfish.”
Why is this so important? Because taking responsibility for yourself is the only way to clean up these kinds of messes. Sin muddles and confuses, but repentance always makes things clear. Be the kind of girls who are quick to repent, quick to take responsibility, and quick to laugh at your own mistakes – even when they are embarrassing.
When there is a confusing or difficult situation, look for what you can quickly clean up. And I will give you a hint: it is never the sidewalk’s (or your brother’s or your sister’s) behavior. Start with what you have access to, which is your own mistakes, and you will soon find that helps a lot!
1 John 1:9 says this:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This is the only way to actually get rid of the problem, however little, however embarrassing, however silly. And God promises that He will always forgive us! So why would we ever want to delay this? Why would we want to pretend that nothing had happened, but really still be dirty inside? We want to be the kind of girls who always confess our sins, right away. That is just another way of saying that we always want to be forgiven girls.